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Act like a veteran

The NCAA tournament is a time to celebrate college sports…wagering. Opening weekend is a two day unofficial holiday where work productivity bottoms out with employees from coast to coast streaming games, checking scores, and monitoring their bracket standings as each game goes final. For a select few, making a pilgrimage to the gambling epicenter is a rite of passage that needs to be on everyone’s bucket list. Here are 5 things to make you look like a betting professional even if it happens to be your maiden voyage when heading to the sportsbook.

Know your betting index number

Bettors accustomed to playing online or with a local bookie may not know what this terminology means. The betting index number is a three (or four digit) code attached to each team on the big board. Each three betting index number remains the same no matter if you’re looking to place your bets at a MGM, Cantor Technology, or a William Hill sportsbook. Halftime numbers can vary depending on the establishment but they’ll almost always be listed as a four digit number making it easy to tell the difference between full game prices. These individual codes are what you’ll see to the left of every team on LED boards and sportsbook sheets and become the only pieces of relevant information you need when walking to the window. Knowing the team name doesn’t help a ticket writer; it’s these identifying codes that insure the accuracy of your ticket on every wager.  Don’t be that guy looking at the board trying to find these numbers when your at the teller window.

Check your ticket

If I had a dollar every time some drunk idiot came up to me after a game was over while I worked behind the counter saying he’d been given the wrong ticket I’d be much closer to retirement than I currently am. It’s the bettor’s responsibility to check his or her tickets before leaving the window. It’s not a difficult process; make sure the team listed on your ticket is indeed who you wanted to bet. There’s no recourse once a game tips let alone when it goes final whereas noticing a mistake immediately allows the problem to be rectified. Ticket writers are humans too, they make mistakes just like the rest of us. Also, don’t be a moron after you’ve finished 15 beers and start yelling at a supervisor to check surveillance cameras for a bet placed four hours (or four minutes) beforehand, it’s not happening.

Tip your ticket writer

This is one of those customs locals understand but tourists aren’t all that familiar with because it’s not widely known. Just like when you sit down at the tables and tip your dealer, the same courtesy applies to ticket writers. It doesn’t need to be a tip on every single bet you make but when you’re headed to the window 15+ times reward the writers for supplying a service much like you do for a waiter or waitress at a restaurant. Don’t give me the line “I’m not paying them to do their job” because it will just make you sound like an arrogant asshole.

Don’t bet futures

Ok, so this isn’t a diatribe on how betting futures is bad business (that’s a discussion for a different day). This pertains to the tourist deciding to bet his 5 favorite teams to win their respective championships minutes before a set of tournament games are about to tip-off. Show common sense and courtesy if you’re up there doing this and someone behind you has a game that tips in minutes.  It’s not hard to step the side and wait for a lull in basketball action to throw your money away on the pipedream of a 2017 Cleveland Browns Superbowl.

Start times don’t change

There’s nothing more maddening than Johnny come lately. He suddenly thinks because he’s waited until seconds before tip-off the lines will part like the red seas. You’ve had at least 24+ hours to digest all the match-ups; there’s a good chance you weren’t waiting for a specific buy point. If you were, kudos for price shopping and seeking value, however the reality is most of these guys decided seven minutes previously they just needed the action. Have a game plan, stick to it and don’t be that guy constantly trying to get his bet in right before tip off for all 48 opening weekend match-ups.